Markus Kramer holds an MBA from the University of Oxford as well as a degree in FinTech and Future of Commerce from MIT. His career highlights include managing global marketing at Aston Martin, the responsibility as Chief Marketing Officer at VERTU and the management of EMEA marketing at Harley-Davidson. He took the Management Futures ICS programme in 2015.
What first compelled you to sign up for the Management Futures ICS programme?
"Every year I allocate time for some focused personal development and I found out about the Management Futures ICS course following a word of mouth referral. Coaching was something that really interested me because of the potential impact on my job – both with staff and clients – so I was keen to explore the topic in much more detail. I decided to attend as a self-funded candidate and really push myself to see what I could achieve."
What are your memories of the programme itself?
"Even before the programme started, the preparation was excellent – with professional contact and preassessment. The venue was inspiring too and created an excellent learning environment.
"I remember my arrival was a little hectic. My flight from Switzerland landed, I headed straight from the airport to the course to get started and was delighted to find I was part of a positive, relaxed and focused working group – expertly facilitated by the MF team to create a great atmosphere.
"The programme was very well structured throughout the five days. Despite the busy start, it was a stress-free experience – the perfect balance of academic input with enough time to reflect and practise the key skills.
"It was a very special period for me – an opportunity to really take the time for some personal exploration and reflection with a chance to understand how the experience could add value to my life. Without doubt it was an empowering, enabling experience."
What impact has the ICS had on your professional development?
"I took a number of coaching skills and tools from the ICS and still use them in my professional life today in a range of contexts – things like the kipper tie framework for example. What’s great is that, because of the way the programme is structured, you can be flexible in how you apply these skills to your specific circumstances.
"I’d estimate that I use the skills 10% of the time with my team – during 3-monthly performance talks or when we need to have difficult conversations. The remaining 90% is purely client-focused. So this might be using skills during ongoing discussions or pitches – where things like reflecting a client’s body language or style can be particularly impactful.
"I also found it reassuring that there were a number of things I was already subconsciously doing prior to the ICS programme but it was very useful to step out of the day to day and understand the potential impact of these skills in more detail."
Who would benefit from attending the ICS Programme?
"While not everyone understands what coaching really is – or the benefits it can bring - I believe anyone would benefit from attending the ICS.
"For those in leadership positions it represents a chance to develop new skills that you wouldn’t have picked up from a classic education.
"And for those with regular client contact it’s priceless. In fact, I’d say that anyone in a client-facing role should be compelled to take time to undertake some form of coach skills development. It’s that important and can really transform client relationships.
"I would also like to reassure anyone thinking about taking the course as a self-funded candidate to sign up for the experience. For me, the self-propelling energy that came from the fact that this was a decision I had taken myself (rather than being part of a company programme) was extremely powerful. Like others in my position, I felt I was truly switched on and did everything I could to push myself to the limits of personal development."
And finally, is it possible to sum up your ICS experience in one sentence?
"Quite simply, the ICS is one of those life-enhancing experiences that everyone should do."
ARE YOU FEELING INSPIRED?
We are incredibly proud of our ICS programme which introduces novice and experienced coaches to the fundamental skills and tools required in Executive Coaching. As you can see, many of our ICS Alumni go on to complete further professional certifications in coaching and successfully coach senior leaders as internal coaches or independent professional coaches.
To find out more contact Sarah Campbell on +44 (0)20 7928 4841 or email firstname.lastname@example.org